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NEW SOUTH WALES, AUS. (THECOUNT) — Captain Ian McBeth, First Officer Paul Hudson and Flight Engineer Rick DeMorgan Jr were all on board the C-130 Hercules, Zeus when they lost control while fighting the Australian wildfires.
The jet exploded into a fireball on impact near Peak View in the state of New South Wales after losing contact with the ground at about 1.45pm on Thursday, reports DailyMail Thursday night.
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Coulson Aviation of Oregon has confirmed one of their C-130 Hercules aerial water tankers crashed while battling the devastating wildfires in New South Wales, Australia on Thursday.
Coulson said in a statement that three fatalities were reported in the crash describing it as “extensive.”
The tanker departed from Richmond, New South Wales, and was on a firebombing mission in the Snowy Monaro area when it went down Thursday.
Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said in a news conference Thursday that contact was lost with the aircraft a little before 1:30 p.m. local time, adding that there’s still no indication of what caused the crash, reports YahooNews.
“The only thing I have from the field reports are that the plane came down, it’s crashed and there was a large fireball associated with that crash,” he said. “Unfortunately, all we’ve been able to do is locate the wreckage and the crash site, and we have not been able to locate any survivors.”
Geo quick facts: New South Wales is a southeastern Australian state, distinguished by its coastal cities and national parks. Sydney, its capital, is home to iconic structures such as the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Inland are the rugged Blue Mountains, rainforests and outback towns where opals are mined. Along the coastline are long surfing beaches. The Hunter Valley region, in the north, has dozens of wineries – wikipedia.
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